Displaying Absorption Rates with Zoho Creator Form and View

Before we get started, if you haven't gone through the first two installments of multiple tutorials, you'll need to do that to follow this one, as well as to get your free Zoho Creator Account started. So, do these two tutorials first:

  • Getting the account, the free application and the Web Lead Form
  • Using the Inventory Statistics Form and Views

The Absorption Rate Display

Absorption Rate Display
Absorption Rate Display. Jim Kimmons

Once you've done those tutorials, you're ready for this one. Let's define what this form does, and talk about absorption. Basically, we want to look at the rate at which properties are being sold, and from that determine how long it will take to sell off current inventories by price range. A simple example would be if a certain price range saw 36 homes sold in the last 12 months, and we have 24 currently listed, we have 8 months of inventory. We had an average of 3 selling each month, so it would take eight months at that rate to sell off these 24 homes. Of course, this is a changing number, but it's accurate for the day it's computed. It's also going to be significantly changing based on seasonal trends.

But, for this form and display, we're going to negate seasonal trends by going back 12 months to get all of the seasons counted. Our display shows a column for each price range with current inventory count, and the next column is computed by the form to give the number of months to sell the inventory. I'll show you the formula in another step. What you will like is that you'll only need two numbers from your MLS for each price range; one is the current inventory count, and the other is the number of homes sold over the last 12 months in that price range. It's a tough ten minutes work.

Note in the image that it's tough to fit this many columns into a 600 or so pixel width, so I've placed some explanatory information above the chart to make sure the visitor understands my abbreviated column headings. Next, we'll look at the form where we fill in the information.

Absorption Rates Data Entry Form

Absorption Data Entry Form
Absorption Data Entry Form. Jim Kimmons

The image shows our entry form, and we're the only ones who'll ever see it. The display on the website is going to display the results of the entries that we make here, but the site visitor never sees this form. We're breaking our properties out into price ranges, and our form will take the following information to calculate and display:

  • The number of currently listed homes in each price range.
  • The number of homes sold in each range over the last 12 months.
  • The formula field for each price range will calculate the number of months of inventory.

Once we enter the data for a certain date, the form will do the calculations and our display will be updated automatically on our site, as the form results are displayed with embed code.

Next, let's look at one of these formula fields. To do that, first click on "Edit This Application" at the top, then click on the edit pencil beside any one of the formula fields.

Formula Field to Calculate Number of Months of Real Estate Inventory

Absorption Rates Formula Fields
Absorption Rates Formula Fields. Jim Kimmons

We can see in the field entry screen that a formula has been constructed to:

  • Divide the entered number of sales over last 12 months by 12 to get sales/month.
  • Divide that number into current active listing inventory for the price range to get the number of months it will take to sell off at the sales/month rate.

You don't need to do anything with this formula, but it does show you that all fields available are displayed at the bottom, and after that it's just math. We do the same formula for each price range field, but they're all done for you already. Even if you want to change the price ranges for your area, you need only change the column headings that display. You can leave the field names for the calculation the same. You won't have to do any formula work that way, just remember the price ranges you're working with and get the numbers for those. The display will show the new ranges, no matter what your field names are.

OK, once you've closed this, click on the large "Access This Application" button, then click on "Residential Absorption Rate" next to the spreadsheet icon on the left side. This will take you to the display screen, and then click on the "More Actions" dropdown next to the title. This will give you the option of "Embed In Your Website." Click on that and we'll do the next step.

Getting the Embed Code for the Absorption Rate Display

Absorption Rate Display Code
Absorption Rate Display Code. Jim Kimmons

As we did in our sales statistics displays, we uncheck a couple of boxes that aren't used, leaving the search box checked in case the site visitor might want to search on a month. Then we just select all of the code in the box and copy it. After that, we just insert that code in our website or blog to get the display.

From then on, every week or so, you just go into your MLS software and get the numbers for current inventory and last 12 months sales for each of your price ranges. I do it with a notepad, writing them down, then it's two minutes to fill in the form. Once you save it, your display will be automatically updated on the site.

We've finished this tutorial, but you may find more uses for this application. You can build your own forms from scratch for other things you might want to display. You may want to break out your MLS by major areas, with an inventory display for each. Have fun!